Yoga, an ancestral practice, can be defined as a dive into oneself, with the aim of balancing and unifying our whole being (Body-Soul-Spirit), thanks to the different body postures (Asanas) and breathing (Pranayama ) conscious.
Find the divine within you.
The original meaning of the Sanskrit word Yoga (योग) is “union with God”: the primary goal of yoga is the union of the individual Self with the Universal Self.
Discipline born in India, in the Harrapan valley around 2250 BC. J.C, Yoga would be a gift offered to humanity by the God Shiva, through Matsyendra, the little fish who became human, and who was the first yogi of all time.
The many benefits of yoga
Regular practice quickly brings about a real inner and outer transformation. With the harmonization of the body/mind/breath system, we feel a balance and serenity that increase our confidence in ourselves and in the universe. At the same time, our relationships with others improve.
The more one progresses in the practice, the more one gains in strength and physical and mental health, and experiences more satisfaction in the practice and in everyday life.
The many benefits include:
Strengthening of all muscle chains
Flexibility, Better endurance
Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
Reduction of stress and anxiety
Improved concentration, clearer mind
Openness to others and to spiritual evolution
Yoga is not only gymnastics but a holistic practice, that is to say, it conceives the human being in its entirety.
The practice does not stop with the end of the session, and the benefits are felt in all aspects of your life.
With the awareness of oneness of self with all things, we sharpen our ecological commitment, for we understand that Gaia is sacred, and that she needs each of us.
To go further in practice, we modify the quality of our diet, it becomes healthier and more balanced.
We experience more pleasure in daily discipline and self-transcendence: the flexibility of the body becomes flexibility of the mind!
The practice of yoga has become beneficial and essential for many. It will lead you to greater harmony in your life!
Anāhata the heart chakra is located in the center of the chest, halfway between the lower 3 chakras and the upper 3 chakras.
It is the fourth of the seven main chakras, and the point of balance between the body and the soul, between the material and the spiritual.
Depiction of Anāhata
The Hindu tradition represents Anāhata by a blue or green lotus with 12 petals, with in its center, a yantra formed of two intertwined triangles: the triangle points upwards which represents the male principle Shiva, and the triangle points downwards which represents the female Shakti principle.
Center of Love and Sensibility
This chakra, capable of releasing a benevolent energy of healing love, both towards oneself and towards others, is the source of the positive feelings of compassion, patience, peace, happiness and joy.
It is through the heart chakra that we connect with others, so it is the center of our relationships with others.
Seat of consciousness and creativity
The 4th chakra is the seat of the “I” and the ego, but also of the divine self (Atma), and of self-awareness in relation to others.
It is the most important energy center of the body. It integrates the emotions produced by the first three chakras and manages the more stable feelings integrated in the upper three chakras.
Anāhata is the junction point between telluric and celestial energies. This chakra is an integral part of the processes of transformation and regeneration. It activates the power of the imagination and therefore the ability to create.
Connections for Anāhata
The organs associated with Anāhata are the heart, lungs, hands and skin. Its element is air, which represents freedom, lightness, voluptuousness and infinity. His sense of touch, his animal the black antelope. Its mantra is Yam and its note is Fa.
How to Activate the Heart Chakra
When Anāhata is closed, we are selfish, cold, demanding. When it is overly open, we are overly expansive, or possessive, overwhelmed with desire, jealousy, sadness, and dependent in our relationships with others.
When Anāhata is well balanced, we are kind to others, and forgive easily. We feel understanding for all that is. We accept our true nature. It is an essential prerequisite to flourish and evolve in a positive way.
To activate Anāhata, you can for example:
Surround yourself with green and/or pink
spend as much time outdoors as possible
pay more attention to your breathing
let go of your problems
practice selfless giving to loved ones or complete strangers
Aum (or Om) is a Sanskrit syllable. It is found in several religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, or Brahmanism.
This sound is considered to be the divine primitive vibration of the Universe which represents all existence. The original sound from which the Universe would have structured.
The AUM syllable therefore represents the totality of what exists, as well as the Hindu trinity:
The letter A represents the beginning, the birth, and the creator god Brahma.
The letter U represents continuation, life, and the god Vishnu
And the letter M represents the end, death, and the destructive god Shiva.
The pronunciation of Aum is sometimes described as follows: first A emerges from the back of the throat, towards the palate, then U rolls on the tongue and M ends on the lips.
A symbolizes wakefulness, U, dream, M, sleep. Awakening corresponds to the fourth step: silence, departure and rebirth of Being.
This is the first syllable of the famous Aum Mani Padme Hum mantra.
Sanskrit is the sacred language of ancient India, many terms of which are now frequently used in the world of yoga and wellness in general.
With our little Sanskrit lexicon, enter a mysterious world of infinite wisdom!
AHIMSA: This term, popularized by Gandhi, means “non-violence” and “benevolence towards all creatures”. This is the first principle of “yamas”, the codified rules guiding yogis on their path of life.
ASANA: Literally “yoga posture, or sitting”.
ASHRAM: spiritual community gathered around a sage.
AUM or OM: primordial vibration of the universe, link between interior and exterior. Represents the four degrees of reality: waking (A), dreaming (U), deep sleep (M) and turya or silence.
AYURVEDA: From “ayur”, “life” and “veda”, “knowledge”, Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India which dates from the Vedic period. According to Ayurveda, Matter is composed of five elements (the tattvas): earth (prithivi), water (apas), fire (tejas), air (vayu) and ether (akasha). These elements come together in three combinations to form what are called “doshas”, which determine the different “types” of people.
BANDHAS: Energy locks in the physical body that yogis use to hold life energy. The three main bandhas are mulabandha (at the level of the root chakra); uddyanabandha (at the level of the diaphragm) and jalandharabandha, (at the level of the throat).
CHAKRAS: The chakras are the energy centers, located along the spine. They are often symbolized by lotuses (padma).
DHARMA: this term designates the natural law, the duty, the wheel of the journey of life.
GUNAS: the material world is made up of three qualities which are the “gunas”. These three qualities are present in living beings and food: “tamas” = laziness and resistance; “Rajas” = energy and movement; “Sattva” = balance and purity.
GURU: “Gu” means shadow and “ru” means light. The guru is a master, a teacher who guides us from shadow to light.
KARMA: means “action”, “movement of energy”. Karma is the law of cause and effect (or law of causation).
KOSHAS: The five envelopes of the human being: the physical, energetic, mental, intellectual and spiritual bodies.
LILA: the divine ballet or “game” of the physical world.
MALA: Hindu rosary. In general, the mala is made up of 108 pearls, a sacred number in yogic mythology. Often composed of natural stones and seeds, it is used to count breaths or mantras.
MANDALA: literally “center, circle, unity and totality”. Mandalas are geometric designs widely used as a medium for meditation.
MANTRA: It is a phrase, sequence of words or syllables, repeated while singing, and / or meditating. This practice is based on the power of repetition.
MAYA: It is the illusion of the physical world and the main cause of our suffering.
MOKSHA: Refers to the liberation of the soul, when it has completed its cycle of reincarnations.
MUDRA: Sacred gestures performed with the hands and fingers. The practice of mudras helps to raise vibrational energy.
NAMASTA: This is a greeting commonly used in India and in yoga classes as a sign of gratitude, benevolence and peace.
NIRVANA: Refers to the liberation of a being from the cycle of rebirth (samsara). The self is no longer separated from the rest of creation and with this state comes intense happiness. This is the goal of the Buddhist and Hindu spiritual journey.
PRANA: This Sanskrit word means indifferently “vital breath”, “energy of life”, “light”.
PRANAYAMA: “control” or “mastery” of “prana” ie the breathing techniques of yoga.
PUJA: Offering to the statues representing the Gods: chanting of mantras, garlands of flowers, fruits, sacred woods, milk, rice, water, incense…
SADHU: Holy man who gave up earthly pleasures to pursue a spiritual quest.
SATYA: Means “truth” in the sense of “sincerity”.
SHANTI: This Sanskrit word often sung by yogis literally means “peace”.
SUTRA: Short philosophical texts which expose a sacred knowledge.
SVASTIKA: Very ancient and powerful symbol of luck and protection. It was used by the Nazis who gave it an extremely negative connotation, but today it needs to be given back its true meaning.
VEDAS: Very ancient sacred texts from India.
YOGA: Indian ancestral art of self-knowledge. Yoga is a holistic practice aimed at training the body, the breath and the mind. It aims for the union of the self and the divine.
YOGI (male), YOGINI (female): practitioner of Yoga
Ganesha or Ganapati is a cross between the human and divine worlds. His body is that of a man while his head is that of an elephant. His mount, Mushaka, is a tiny rat.
Known as the god of wealth, wisdom and luck, traders, travelers and the household. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati.
Ganesh protects from any obstacles and unawareness, and it is customary to make an offering in the form of of flowers (preferably red), fruit (bananas, coconuts, mangoes …), plants, lamps, candles and incense, as well as treats, which he loves before one foregoes an examination, a trip, or a ceremony.
A warm and welcoming god, Ganesh is extremely popular in India and as He is seen in temples, houses, shops, restaurants…
His favorite days are Tuesday and Friday.
Other names of Ganesh are: Ganapati: Lord of Ganas Vinyaka: Best guide Gajnara: Elephant Head
The third eye corresponds according to oriental traditions to the sixth chakra. It is found in various cultures and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and most meditative practices.
People of India often wear on their foreheads a bindi, bindu or tikal, which symbolizes and materializes the third eye, and its Sanskrit name is “Ajn”.
But what really is the third eye?
The third eye is a mystical and esoteric metaphor for the inner gaze, beyond the physical eyes, and more generally for the spiritual awakening.
It is located on the forehead, between the two eyes. It’s the other look, the real look, that of knowing yourself and the world around you. It would also be the centre of the soul.
The third eye scientifically corresponds to the pineal gland, epiphysis, which is connected to the nose, ears, and the nervous system. It is connected to the hypothalamus, the “heart” of our brain.
The seat of intuition
When its functioning is optimal, the third eye is the source of many gifts and capacities: increased perceptions, clairvoyance, and intense intuition.
We find our ability to make clear choices, and to know what we really want in our life. We are “inspired”.
When this chakra is not functional, we are unfortunately more egocentric, interested and frightened. We stay focused on our habits and our security without any real possibility of evolution. We cannot calmly accept the vagaries of existence.
Opening of consciousness
Opening the third eye raises awareness, and we become more lucid. We then better understand the thrue essence of the human being, and the meaning of life and death.
How to activate the third eye?
Its proper functioning would be degraded by the heavy metals accumulated in our body, such as fluorine and calcium. But to activate the third eye there are several methods, you can for example:
place an intense blue color stone, like a sodalite,
massage it with a drop of essential oil of dill, immortelle or palmarosa.
You can also place an indigo blue or purple Tesla Plate in the center of your forehead.
Mudras are hands gestures whose origin goes back to ancient India, several millennia ago.
Omnipresent in Hindu dances, they tell us the story of the manifestation of God in the universe.
The Sanskrit word mudra means “sign”, or “seal”. It comes from the terms: “mud” which means bliss, happiness and “dhra” which means dissolution. Each mudra has a deep meaning and has a part of the magic of Life.
Ancient Vedic tradition
According to the ancient tradition, our five fingers represent the five building blocks, or the five main elements of the universe (called Panchamahabhootas ).
Each finger has its function and its power within our body. When the fingers touch, the “nadis” (subtle energy channels) are connected and particular energy vibrations are activated. The different elements that make up our body and the entire universe can associate and cooperate.
Relationships between the fingers and the elements, according to Vedic tradition.
The thumb is connected to the Fire (Agni)
The forefinger is linked to the Air (Vayu)
The middle finger is connected to the Ether, the Sky (Akasha)
The ring finger is connected to the Earth (Prithvi)
The little finger is connected to the Water (Jala)
It is worth mentioning that the 5 elements do not refers to the same concepts in the Indian and Chinese culture, the correspondences also change (learn more about the 5 Chinese elements here).
Benefits on health and well-being
Using mudras regularly is a natural way to improve your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Murdas is practiced by creating, with one’s fingers, particular forms that generate energy and subtle vibrations that care for the body and the mind.
It also includes the principle of Asanas (postures of yoga). Moreover, mudras are often referred to as ” finger yoga”.
Practiced regularly, the mudras improve our general health, and harmony body-spirit-universe.
Our hands can replace our eyes in the dark, they can also be used to communicate with our fellow humans and with the rest of the universe. Our hands are the first means of expression before one learn how to speak!
Our destiny rests in our hands, and this expression is to be taken literally and figuratively.
Mass-Education is an Indian NGO founded in 1976. Its goal is to promote education for everyone, mainly the poor rural and urban areas of Bengal.
Mass Education aims to make changes in basic, everyday life, to create opportunities for development, and to help the emergence of a conscious citizenship.
People are educated to become self-reliant in resource management.
The NGO has already built more than 60 schools with a capacity of 15,000 pupils, 6 teacher training centers, 1 orphanage and 1 nursing home.
They have set up training programs for adults (sewing, plumbing, etc.), actions to raise awareness of health, hygiene, contraception, actions to combat exclusion, demonstrations in favor of respect for Human rights and the environment.
This year, Mass Education has planted 1000 mango trees, check out the pictures here.
You can also finance the construction of a collective latrine (starting at 350 euros), or sponsor one or several children (30 euros per month per child allow to pay for his/her education, food, school materials, etc.)
Sukumar Singh dreams of changing society with his ideas and alternative approaches. He studied history, economics, politics, as well as the social and cultural situation of India. 40 years after founding Mass-Education with a group of farmers, he is till this day dedicated body and soul to this noble cause.
The banyan, also called pagoda fig tree, Bo tree, pipal, or ficus religiosa is a majestic tree that can reach 30 meters, and several hundred meters in circumference!
With its aerial roots descending from its bushy crown to the ground, becoming trunks, and its heart-shaped leaves, the banyan invites to meditation. In Asia, they are found everywhere: in the towns, in the middle of a road, in front of a building or in the middle of a parking lot, and are tended to by devotees who come to place some offerings or prayers.
Indeed, it is said that Buddha attained enlightenment under the shadow of a banyan tree. And the Bhagavad-Gita made it the tree of supreme knowledge.
This tree has a particular energy, the banyan trees are very often found near the temples, and can live up to 1500 years. It has the power to calm the mind, but also to take the mind very high to heaven.
In South America it is called “the tree that walks” because it seems to have enormous legs that can be compared to elephant’s that leave the “main trunk”.
Some famous banyan trees:
The most famous and most sacred is in the holy city of Bodh-Gaya, in northeastern India, where the Buddha would have attained enlightenment.
The Great Banian of Howrah, near Calcutta, India. Its diameter is over 130 meters.
Another famous Banyan is the Dodda Alada Mara in Bangalore.
The banyan is part of many Ayurvedic remedies. One uses its sap, its leaves, or its bark.
Majuli Island is located in the Bhramaputra River in the north of India. In the 1970s it was a large shoal threatened by winds and soil erosion with a population of 150,000 inhabitants.
Jadav Payeng is an incredible defender of nature. Since 1979, tree by tree, he planted, by himself an incredible forest, the Molai forest, with the aim of saving his island treatened by erosion.
Today, the Molai Forest makes up to more than 550 hectares. It has become dense and rich, and is home to many animal and plant, many of which are endangered: elephants, Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinoceros, vultures …
The Molai forest was planted by a single man, now dubbed “Forest Man”, he planted his forest without tools or without any help but simply with his two bare hands.
Jadav Payeng devoted his life to planting this forest, this man is a true nature lover, humble and passionate, who shows us that with will anything is possible.
His fight is far from over. As he himself says: “it will never be. The biggest threat I face is not from nature but from my people. Man has a vocation to destroy everything, when it should be the opposite. I will fight to the end to make it happen. “
What if we took this as an example and each of us take action on their own scale? The whole world would be transformed.
Arasia offers you the opportunity to plant trees by participating in the operation 1 euro = 1 tree, in partnership with the Indian NGO Mass-Education.